Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Analyzing the Callaspo-Green deal
By Keith Law
The trade: Angels send Alberto Callaspo to the A's for Grant Green
Alberto Callaspo provides the A's with some infield depth and flexibility, as he can fill in at multiple positions. He is best at third base but capable of handling second or as an emergency backup at short while providing value as a right-handed bat off the bench. (He's a switch-hitter but better from the right side.)
The A's have used Adam Rosales in a similar role over the past year and a half, but he adds no value with the bat (other than his ability to trot quickly around the bases on his occasional home runs) and Callaspo is only a slight drop-off defensively. The A's may use Callaspo as a platoon partner for their left-handed-hitting second baseman Eric Sogard, who's been able to hit right-handed pitching this year but has never hit southpaws in his big league career, which would shore up their weakest position on the diamond.
In exchange, the Angels get 2009 first-round pick Grant Green, one of the bigger enigmas among minor league prospects because he's too good of an athlete to be a man without a position.
Green has a quick, slashing stroke at the plate that produces line drives and doubles power, but his plate discipline has always been below average and he doesn't make enough contact for a guy who, outside of a year in the hitter-friendly Cal League in 2010, hasn't hit for power. He's an above-average runner but doesn't have great feel as a base stealer.
He was a shortstop in college at USC and has also played second, third, center and left in pro ball. He hasn't clicked at any of those positions and is probably best described as a bad defensive second baseman.
Green has the arm for the left side of the infield and his feet should be quick enough for any position, but his footwork was consistently terrible at short and not much better at second, so he'll need a lot of work for any position where the Angels try to play him. Third base might be worth a shot, as he's played only 11 games there as a pro and the position, now vacant in Anaheim, requires less of the lateral agility that the middle infield does.
For Callaspo, it's a reasonable return, but the Angels' player development folks have just been handed a big, high-profile project.